I still haven't watched any episodes of the new Marvel's Spider-Man cartoon on Disney XD. But given the amount of merchandise attention that Anya Corazon is getting from it, I know I need to start soon. I have a great fondness for all the various Spider-Women that have been introduced over the years - Jessica Drew, Julia Carpenter, Mayday, Spider-Gwen, Ashley Barton, all of them. But above and beyond my favorite has been Anya Corazon (once she donned the Spider-Girl outfit -- her Araña phase wasn't my favorite to be honest). Her comics were witty and fun and I adored them (check out the Spider-Girl: Family Values TPB). Once the Spider-Verse storyline happened and we were suddenly introduced to dozens of cool new Spiders, I was afraid she would be overshadowed. But she's maintained a decent presence and now her role in the Disney XD show is making her a permanent fixture in the Marvel Universe (in my humble opinion). This toy is proving my point. Let's check out her new kid's line figure below!
Spider-Girl's action feature is a blue thread that pops out of her wrist-mounted web-launcher when her backpack (a rubber air bladder) is compressed. I had a toy frog when I was a kid that had the same feature. A red paper tongue would pop out when the body was squeezed. It's a pretty nostalgic gimmick for me.
While I think the backpack accessory is fun, I also find it burdensome and unnecessary for this figure. Unfortunately it does not seem removable. I will try to fully remove it as soon as I find a second figure to experiment with. But in the meantime, the pivoting web-shooter arm can be popped off.
I was already really looking forward to Ant-Man and the Wasp in July, but something about this figure launched my excitement to a whole new level. The Wasp I am familiar with is Janet Van Dyne, the original Avenger who will be portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer in this movie. The Wasp played by Evangeline Lilly in the movie is Janet's daughter, Hope Van Dyne (her father is Hank Pym / Michael Douglas). Hope was originally introduced in the MC2 comic universe (where we were introduced to Spider-Girl (Mayday), Stinger, American Dream, Wild Thing, etc). She was a villain known as the Red Queen who was the nemesis of Stinger (Cassie Lang) - who is coincidentally a young character in the movie played by Abby Ryder Fortson. I doubt these characters will have the same dynamics as portrayed in the comics over the years, but I'm curious to see how they all fit into the MCU. This Marvel Legends figure gives me the first really detailed look at the costume and I think it's amazing. Let's check her out below!
The Wasp comes with an unmasked head, two flight hands, and a backpack representing folded wings. I didn't take any pictures of her wearing this because her wings are so great, but her entire wing apparatus is removable with a classic backpack peg.
I swear I was going to be strong and skip this Scarlet Witch repaint. But just like the second version of Enchantress a few years ago, once I saw her in person my willpower faded and before I knew it I was standing in the checkout line. I figure there were two reasons behind my purchase. The first is that this is likely the last toy I will ever purchase at Toys R Us. I've been feeling very nostalgic and sad about all the closures so every little purchase now carries some weight. The second reason is that this is a really terrific repaint. The only real difference is the hair color and the facepaint, but it is a major improvement over the Civil War version from 2016. The heads seem to have identical sculpts, but it's really difficult to tell in person. (She also comes with different energy accessories). Wanda's role has escalated in each movie and in Avengers: Infinity War the trend continued and she had a lot of screentime. So I'm really glad she got a great redeco (even if I didn't realize she needed one). Let's check out Scarlet Witch below!
Time for some Group and Comparison Pics!
Here she is with her Civil War version from 2016. I think the only difference is accessories, hair color and facepaint.
Titan Hero Series - Avengers Infinity War - Power FX Black Widow - Hasbro 2018
I've been struggling with time management recently. I'm my defense, I've been planning a wedding and it's really been stressing me out. But the one nice thing about not having time to photograph my newest purchases is that I get to clear all the older pics off my camera. I wasn't planning on posting a review of this TitanFX Black Widow figure because I had just done one for the standard release when I found her in Target. But the improvements in the sculpt of the PowerFX version were so impressive to me that I knew I would eventually have to post on her as well. While the price point of these PowerFx figures are double or even triple the cost of a standard Titan, I think the added play value of the soundbox backpacks are worth the cost. The funny thing is, if I would have posted this review right after I took the photos, I wouldn't have acknowledged the fun factor, because I didn't even pay attention until I got my Wasp Titan months later. The details are explained further down. Let's check out Black Widow below!
The PowerFX figures come with a large voicebox-equipped backpack accessory. This can plug into the back of any modern Titan figure and emit character-specific catchphrases or sound-effects when plugged into that action figure's port. To be clear, this works interchangeably. I tried Widow's backpack on Wasp, Scarlet Witch, and Spider-Girl and got unique sounds for each. I imagine there is a timing consideration though, because I doubt there was enough forethought to include a future Captain Marvel quote in the microchip of this particular backpack. I will be curious to see if future backpacks contain all the past soundbytes cumulatively.
The backpack is super bulky and makes her want to topple over.
Time for some Comparison Pics!
Here is the Power FX Widow with the standard Titan version. The standard version uses the comic-style body which seems to be slightly out of proportion with the head. The PowerFX body has noticeably wider shoulders and better proportions overall.
DC Super Heroes Vynl - Harley Quinn & The Joker 2-Pack - Funko 2018
Harley isn't just for the comic nerds anymore. She belongs to the world now and our opinions about her character trajectory don't carry much weight anymore. I'm actually pretty okay with most of her various evolutions. I was skeptical of her most recent Skullbags punk rock look at first but I quickly grew to love it. And honestly all the comic looks had the same gradual acceptance for me. That's because my all-time favorite look will forever be her original cartoon and early comic outfit. Whenever a piece of merchandise comes out in that red and black jester getup, I feel an irresistible draw toward it. I pick and choose with all the other Harley looks, but the classic will always be a shoe-in. I'm getting rather fond of Funko's Vynl line. This Harley was my fourth Vynl (Sorceress will be my 5th when she arrives), and I like them more and more with each purchase. I'm really hoping we see a Catwoman next just to round out the Sirens. A Huntress and Batwoman wouldn't hurt either. Let's check out Harley below!
Solo: A Star Wars Story - 12" Action Figures - Qi'Ra (Corellia) - Hasbro 2018
I have a lot of misgivings about Solo: A Star Wars Story. I don't know much about the plot or anything. But just judging from the few commercial spots I've seen and the toys that have already hit the shelves I have some misgivings about the film's aesthetics. I like all the actors involved and I actually think their costumes are very cool and creative. However, they just don't say "Star Wars" to me at all. I just can't wrap my head around how people can be dressed so hip and modern at one phase of a story only to move on to A New Hope and suddenly be dressed like they're from a different era... specifically an error backwards in time. When Phantom Menace came out Queen Amidala had lots of outrageous (slightly "modern") fashions but somehow it didn't seem to stray far from the Star Wars aesthetic that we have come to know. But all the Solo imagery I've seen so far just seems disconnected. I'm definitely going to see it in the theatre, but I'm finding it hard to withhold judgement. Let's check out Qi'ra below!
The Hasbro 12" figures aren't very well articulated (at least in comparison to Mattel). Qi'ra has a ball-jointed head. Simple shoulders and hips swivels. And forearms that rotate.
Time for a Comparison Pic!
Here is Qi'Ra with two recent 12" figures: Cortana and Wasp.
I'm finally catching up on all the backlogged Imaginext figures I've had laying around forever. The only downfall to running a review blog, is that I can't rip open a toy as soon as I buy it. Waiting until I have time to photograph them in the packaging puts my patience to the test. I never would have expected to like a Scooby-Doo Imaginext line so much. Sure, the main characters look great (except for Scooby himself ironically). But the great thing is that this line has proved to be a great vehicle for all the "monsters." The removable hoods are perfect for reminiscing over those iconic "jinkies!" moments. The only sad thing is that so far this line has only shown up at Toys R Us. It hasn't been expressly declared an exclusive, but I feel that the future availability of the line is uncertain. I would love a One-Eyed Skeleton, a Phantom Racer, and a 10,000 Volt Ghost - they were always my favorites. Maybe Target, Wal-Mart or the revived Kay-Bee will pick up the line and give us a few more sets. Let's check out Velma and Daphne below!
Velma & Snow Ghost
Daphne & Mr. Hyde
Time for some Group and Comparison Pics!
Here are Daphne and Velma together.
And here they are with the perennial Scooby action figures from Character Options Toys.
Imaginext DC Super Friends - Assorted Heroes - Fisher-Price/Mattel 2017-2018
The DC SuperFriends Imaginext line is one of my favorite collectibles at the moment. For a long time the line was void of any female characters. Then in early 2012 they introduced Catwoman. That figure actually inspired me to create this blog, Because when I found it (in a Target in the middle of a blizzard), I was super excited to share my discovery, but I didn't have any outlet. Coincidentally, the DC message boards had been taken down a few months prior as part of the New52 reboot (that was my go-to nerdy community at the time). So within a month I started She's Fantastic - although I never did review that Catwoman. Over the course of the next few years, we got Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy. Then the floodgates opened and I've had trouble keeping up. This review will collect my nine latest figures: Black Canary, Batgirl v3, Harley Quinn v2, Vixen, Hawkgirl, Carrie Kelley Robin, Wonder Woman v4, (Flashpoint) Wonder Woman v5, and Cheetah v2. Let's check them out below!
NIGHTWING & TRANSFORMING CYCLE (2018)
Notice how it doesn't even list Black Canary on the front? Considering this is the third Nightwing I would think they would try to advertise the new character a little bit. As far as I know, this set has only shown up in Big Lots. And to make them even more scarce, each store seems to only get one (along with a Mongul and Jon Stewart set). They might see a wider release, but not so far.
CHEETAH & CYCLE (2017)
This Cheetah set was a part of a whole line of Wonder Woman products I assume were intended to coincide with the Wonder Woman film. As far as I know only the giant playsets ever hit the shelves in the US (like the Hippolyta set). The sets that never saw wide release also include Ares, Steve Trevor, and a Warrior Suit Wonder Woman. Luckily, they do pop up occasionally on Amazon and eBay for not-too-inflated prices.
I love the Imaginext cat cycle. This was also released with the very first Catwoman figure in all black, then in Purple with the Bane Catwoman.
And here she is with the Cheetah v1 figure from 2015.
WONDER WOMAN & WARRIOR SUIT (2017)
Yet another of the scarce Wonder Woman products from 2017. This figure uses the Warrior Queen body and a recolored Warrior Suit from the Woodland Elves line. Mine annoyingly did not come with the projectile missile.
BATGIRL & BATMOBILE
I'm thrilled with this set. I was a little unhappy with the weird face on the original Batgirl figure, but this figure corrected it and has brighter purple colors. I also really dig the purple Batmobile (despite not usually being a fan of vehicles). So far, this set has only shown up at Toys R Us (currently 30% off). I'm afraid she won't show up anywhere else after all the stores close.
There's a button on the underside of the yellow safety bar that turns on the headlights when pressed.
A disc-launcher feature flips up out of the trunk.
Here she is with the Batgirl v1 from 2015. The old eyes and lips had too much of an outline and looked odd. The new face on the Left has a much more "Imaginext" feel.
HARLEY QUINN TANK (2018)
Here is another set that is available now at Toys R Us and may not be around for very long. The Harley figure is a genius repaint of the 2015 Blind Bag Pilot. The tank is a repainted Joker Tank.
Imaginext Jurassic World/Jurassic Park - Claire & Dr. Sattler - Fisher-Price 2018
Imaginext is not a toy line that should be overlooked. I've been collecting toys for a long time and I've seen product lines come and go. But there is something special about Imaginext that I think has the potential to outperform some of the most successful action figures lines of all time. They are fun, consistent, very playable, and they are released at a very commendable pace. Many years ago they started releasing licensed figures in the DC SuperFriends brand. But more recently they've branched out and started releasing the likes of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Scooby Doo, and now Jurassic Park and Jurassic World. I love how the smaller scales make the actual dinosaur toys more accessible. In the first wave of products we got the classic Dr. Ellie Satter and the current heroine Claire Dearing. I'm hoping we get a few more ladies before the license disappears. I know that main action figure line is getting a Zia and Maisie, so I guess their the most likely to show up next. Let's check out Claire and Ellie below!
Time for some Group and Comparison Pics!
Here are the two Imaginext Jurassic ladies together. Note that the compys same in a separate 2-pack.
And here they are with the new Ellie and Claire figures from the main action figure line.
Jurassic World - Deluxe Series 01: Gyrosphere & Claire Dearing - Mattel 2018
There's almost nothing I love more than a phenomenally talented actress. I especially love it when they are from my generation. A few great ones come to mind: Kate Winslet, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, and of course Bryce Dallas Howard. I first saw her back in The Village in 2004 and I was instantly smitten. Something I also love about all these particular actors is that they intermix serious Oscar-worthy roles with lighthearted playful ones. Us nerdy folk probably best know Bryce as Gwen Stacy from Spider-Man 3, Victoria from Twilight, and Claire from Jurassic World, none of which are particularly powerful roles, but if you want a taste of her skills check out the Season 3 premiere of Black Mirror (Nosedive) on Netflix. She is just brilliant. I'm glad that Mattel waited until this second movie to get the license and create a thorough line of action figures. Claire's white executive outfit in the first movie was ridiculously iconic, but I honestly don't won't a toy immortalizing it. Let's check out this more utilitarian version below!
There's a second version of Claire coming out in a single pack. She looks pretty similar except her coat is slightly longer and a light brown color.
My Claire's facepaint is pretty sloppy (mostly her lips). I've seen better versions on the shelves since I purchased mine.
The gyrosphere vehicle is pretty great. The seats stay level as you roll it across the floor, and one side of the sphere has cracked damage marks.
Time for some Comparison Pics!
Here is Claire with the recent Ellie Sattler figure from the Legacy Collection.
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